isla de azul y verde
Contact Fairline Menorca
Menorca, known by the locals as “isla de azul y verde” (Island of Blue & Green) and has over 100 beaches and numerous coves or “Calas” as they are called in Spanish. In fact there are more beaches on the island than the rest of the Balearics put together.
With over a 200 kilometer coastline, which varies from rugged cliffs to breathtaking coves and beautiful sandy beaches all surrounded by crystal clear turquoise waters and clear blue sunny skies.
The island is only 47 km long and between 10 and 19 km wide. As a result, the entire island is really all coastline. The sea is a constant factor and an important part of daily life in Menorca, and its numerous coves and natural harbours are ideal for the practice of all kinds of water sports. Menorca presents a fairly level landscape, its highest point being Mount ‘Torro’, on the top of which stands the shrine of the island’s patron saint. The views from here are quite breathtaking and on a clear day, you can see the water all the way around the island as if looking from a plane or a map of the island.
Menorca has a population of 72,000, and is a bright and radiant island bathed by the magnificent Mediterranean sun, which reflects the dazzling whiteness of the white-washed houses. The lush green countryside, the blue sea and sky, and the white of the buildings are the three main colours that go to form the island of Menorca.
Highest Point – Monte Toro – 1,000 ft.
Length – 35 miles
Average Width – 9 miles
Distance to Barcelona – 140 miles
Distance to Mallorca – 25 miles
Population – 72,000
Industries – Cheese, costume jewellery, footwear, tourism, leather goods, gin
The shortest distance from the Spanish mainland by sea is via Barcelona, it is a 9 hour ferry crossing or 45 minutes by air, Palma in Majorca is around a 5 hour ferry crossing or only 25 minutes by air with regular daily flights throughout the season. There are also some rapid ferry options depending on weather conditions, for instance Menorca to Barcelona in just 3.5 hours.
Most major, regional UK airports fly direct scheduled routes to Menorca along with numerous charter flights operated by First Choice, Thompson, Thomas Cook, etc. Another option of flying into Menorca is to fly to Palma and then get a transit flight to Menorca which run many times a day, every day.
Mahon, or “Mao” has been the capital of Menorca since the British moved it from Ciutadella in 1721. The reason being, the harbour at 5 km long and over 1 km at its widest point, and 15 to 30m deep, it is one of the largest, deepest natural harbour’s in the world, this coupled with its location in the Mediterranean, has made it a strategic stronghold for many nations throughout history. The port Itself is relaxing by day and buzzing by night. The bars and restaurants along the portside come alive at night it is easy to spend many hours ‘down in the port’, watching the ships, admiring the views, enjoying the hospitality of the restaurants, or just sat taking in the atmosphere and culture.
Mahon town has plenty to offer, most of the shopping is along pedestrian streets with wonderful cake shops, swish boutiques, leather, pottery and fresh fish and food in the markets. With narrow streets to explore, pleasant shady squares with welcoming pavement cafe’s and shopping, that range’s from the twice weekly market to expensive designer boutiques, Mahon is a must on every visit to Menorca.
Fornells is a lovely fishing village with lots of Mediterranean atmosphere, beautiful waterfront restaurants and bars with some shops. A favourite of the King of Spain where he chooses to indulge in some fabulous local fresh lobster soup known as ‘caldareta’.
Es Castell is situated a short distance from Mahon is the town of ‘Es Castell’, the most easterly town in Spain and first to get the morning sun! The town is steeped in military history, which can still be seen today in its architecture, the most obvious is the central square, which was the main parade ground. Now it is a play park for children and has in the centre, a very friendly bar where you can sit sipping on one of the local specialties. Es Castell has plenty to offer its visitors, with shopping, restaurants and some nightlife. There are market days twice a week, and the Fiesta de San Jaume, at the end of July. Most of the bars and restaurants are situated around the two coves, ‘Calas Fons’. and ‘Calas Corb’. Calas Fons is the main place to head for, it has something to suit all pockets and all tastes.
Ciutadella on the west side of the island, is an historic town that has held up well to the pressure of tourism in the twentieth century. It was originally named by the Carthaginians who called it Jamma, and was the original capital of Menorca until the British came along and moved it to Mahon in the eighteenth century. But Ciutadella still remains the religious capital of Menorca. The harbour, a narrow inlet is one of the smallest ports in the Mediterranean.
Here, sitting in good company at one of the harbour side cafe’s, you can experience what Menorca is all about, relaxed and bathed in sunshine, watching the boats bob up and down and the people strolling by, all the worries of the world vanish.